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Ed Gilmore - Square Dance Callers Instruction Course - 1949

This is the text of the syllabus of Ed Gilmore's class. The text is included on the website, or you can download a ZIP file of it. Contains plenty of philosophy, discussion of the caller's role, a detailed series of suggestions about how to teach basic figures (complete with specific language that he uses), plenty of detailed dance instructions,…

Four Star Hash (clip) - Ed Gilmore

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Ed Austin's Life in Dance

This autobiography by Ed Austin focuses on his lifetime involvement with traditional dance, including a detailed description of the dances he filmed in Central City, Colorado. Click here to watch his film.

Patter Call - Earl Johnston

This is a short clip from a dance called by Earl Johnston in 1970 at the Bay Path Barn in Boylston, MA

Earl Johnston - Patter, 1962

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Shindig in the Barn - Earl Johnston - introductory dance

This is a video clip taken from a promotional video made by Earl Johnston for the Manchester, CT Square Dance Club. Earl was their club caller and the video was made for public television in 1988. In this clip Earl is showing how a new couple can be introduced quickly to modern square dancing. The clip also illustrates a choreographic difference…

Santa Monica 1950 - Don Ward comments

The Trad-Dance-Callers listserv in 2008 had a discussion that touched on the Santa Monica dance. Don Ward was a participant in that event and he shared a few memories with the group.

Squaredance music - Don Ward website

Don Ward is a longtime square dance caller and record collector. His Podbean website features examples from his collection; in many cases, he has digitized original 78 rpm records and has cleaned up the audio files, removing scratches and pops, to give listeners a very clean sound of some classic recordings. His site also draws from a wide variety…

Don Armstrong - progressive squares

Don Armstrong calls a tip that moves dancers from one square to another. At the start of the clip, he alerts dances how this will be done and warns them that when they reach the outside of the hall they will need to do a frontier twirl / California twirl to face back in again. Apparently, some of the dancers missed that information, as you hear him…

In My Adobe Hacienda - Don and Marie Armstrong

Recorded live, Don and Marie Armstrong call a singing square. The tune was recorded by such country artists as Hank Snow, Gene Autry, and Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys.

Trail of the Lonesome Pine - Don & Marie Armstrong

Don and Marie Armstrong call Trail of the Lonesome Pine. Recorded live at the Downeast Western Square Dance Club in Kittery, Maine.A clip of Don's commercial recording of this dance can be found here, and a search on this website will reveal additional examples:* Video, called by Bill Litchman at Dare To Be Square, Brasstown, NC* Video, called by…

Doc Alumbaugh - styling

Alumbaugh's "Styling Suggestion for Square Dancing" is a systematic approach to what he sees as the five components:
• Poise
• Bearing
• Rhythm
• Timing
• Local Mannerisms

The author quickly acknowledges that there are different local styles; his aim is to present the style of southern California and to encourage other callers to…

Square Dance Lessons - Doc Alumbaugh

A series of photographs with text illustrating basic square dance figures. This set, incomplete at the moment, appeared in a Rochester, New York, newspaper in 1950; Alumbaugh led a series of well-attended square dance classes in southern California in the mid and late 1940s. This geographical spread indicates the burgeoning appeal of square dance…

Doc Alumbaugh speaking to Al Brundage, 1957

Doc Alumbaugh, based in southern California, was one of the first traveling callers. In 1950, he founded Windsor Records, which became one of the foremost square dance record labels. (In addition to hiring excellent session musicians, Windsor introduced the idea of releasing a record with calls on one side and just the instrumental version on the…

Silver Bell (clip) - Dick Leger

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Patter Call - Dick Jones

This is a short clip of Dick Jones calling a patter call at a dance in 1970 at the Bay Path Barn in Boylston, Massachusetts

Dick Jones - Patter, 1970

This hash routine is based on pretty standard (for 1970) Goal Post choreography. The final break uses the call Catch All Eight which was quite common at that time.